Schooling The Kids On How Buses Work

, , , , | Related | May 25, 2020

I’m a school bus driver in the mornings, so I have to get to work early, around 5:30 — too early for public transportation where I live, and walking or biking the ten miles to the bus barn on state highways with no shoulder isn’t happening, either. I drive to work. 

When I’m at work, my husband usually walks our kids the half-mile to school — bus service is only provided for a mile or more for physically able students, and I drive for a different district so they can’t tag along with me — but will drive them if it’s really rainy or they’re running late. But when one of our cars is out of commission, that’s no longer an option until it’s fixed. My eight-year-old complains.

Eight-Year-Old: “Is it going to rain again tomorrow?”

Me: “It’s supposed to, so probably.”

Eight-Year-Old: “We have to walk in the rain again?”

Me: “Yes, so wear a coat and bring your umbrella. But I’ll pick you up after school in the car.”

Eight-Year-Old: “I want to drive to school, too. Why can’t you take the bus to work like Dad?”

Me: “Because I drive the bus.”

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Mary, Mary, Contrary AF

, , , , , | Related | May 22, 2020

A few years ago, my mother, younger brother, and I lived with my great-grandmother while we were between houses. We would sit with her in the living room and read or watch television so that she wasn’t lonely. Her son who had lived with her had died, and she needed someone to “take care of.” We would cook her meals and clean the house.

Her daughter, Mary, lived next door. This woman was the passive-aggressive mother from sitcoms. She would come over and make snippy comments about lint on the floor or crumbs on the tablecloths.

One day, she started cursing me out because the blanket on the back of the couch was crooked. She would vacuum and sweep every time she came over and loudly boast about all the polishing, waxing, laundry, and mopping she had done at her house that day.

My brother and I are half-siblings — same mother, different fathers — so she would tell stories about meeting someone at church like, “She’s one of those kinds of women, you know? Where her kids have different last names than her.”

Once, her three-year-old grandson called me the N-word, only to be shushed by his father, and she would complain about “Messicans” that lived up the road. I put up with it because I loved my Granny and knew that she wasn’t going to be around much longer, as she was in her mid-nineties at the time.

My grandfather, one of Granny’s sons and Mary’s brother, handled her money. He left on a trip and went grocery shopping before he left. Four or five days after he left, Mary came over at nine in the morning and started b****ing and banging things around. “This table looks like there’s been a kindergarten class here!” Then, she opened the fridge. “You don’t have no milk at all? [My Grandfather] had a hunnerd dollars of grocery money but he didn’t get you no d*** groceries!”

Remember: my grandfather had gone shopping almost a week before this, and, with four people in the house, the jug was understandably near-empty.

Fed up, I stormed into the kitchen. “It’s. Just. Milk. You don’t have to scream at the top of your lungs! I’m done putting up with you!” I left the room with her telling me, “Your a** can go to h***!”

My mother called my grandfather and basically told him that his sister had lost her d*** mind and that he needed to come home. While we were packing, she found Mary in the kitchen and told her that we were taking care of her mother, when she lived thirty steps away, and that she had no right to insult me the way she had for the past year.

Mary started banging a broom handle on the kitchen table, beginning to brag about times she had bought Granny apple juice or chicken dinners, “at my expense! at my expense!” in an effort to change the subject.

Mary, if you or anyone in your family ever reads this, f*** you. F*** your racist, homophobic, xenophobic, bigoted child and grandchildren. I am so much more than any of you will ever be.

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Style Starts Early

, , , | Related | May 17, 2020

Our young son has proudly dressed himself and comes out to show off his “style.”

Husband: “Two problems, son. Number one: your underwear is on backward.”

Son: “Okay. What’s number two?”

Husband: “Number two: I can see that your underwear is on backward.”

Son: “Huh?”

Me: “Pull up your pants, kid.”

 

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A Mass(ive) Excuse

, , , , , , | Related | May 15, 2020

I’ve always hated going to church. Starting when I was about six, I’ve used any and every excuse I could find to get out of attending Mass on Sundays, ranging from faking sick to hiding until church was over. My parents wised up to my excuses and found all my hiding spots over the years, making it much harder to escape church.

One Sunday when I’m eleven, my mom is out of town. Thinking it’ll be easier to pull one over on my dad, I try the old fake-sick routine.

Due to several chronic health conditions, I’m prone to fainting in the right — or wrong, I suppose — circumstances. I skip breakfast that morning so that my act will be more believable. However, it doesn’t work, and my dad makes me go to church anyway. Since I haven’t had anything to eat or drink at all, I actually do start to feel faint on the way over.

I also happen to be in the process of losing my last baby tooth. It’s not quite ready to come out yet, but I spend the first half of Mass pushing at it with my tongue. If I can knock it out, I’ll be able to miss at least ten minutes of Mass. I eventually succeed and start to ask my dad if I can go to the restroom. He shakes his head immediately, knowing that there’s no chance I’ll willingly come back into Mass if I’m allowed to leave. When I smile and spit my bloody tooth into my hand, he begrudgingly allows me to go.

I go to the restroom and rinse out my mouth. But since the tooth wasn’t ready to come out yet, my gums just keep bleeding, more heavily than with any other tooth I’ve lost. Between the fact that I already was feeling faint, the blood loss, and seeing all the blood, I start to pass out. I’m used to this, so I sit on the floor against the wall to wait for it to pass.

I’m only semi-conscious for a while. At one point, I vaguely notice the sound of the door opening, and then several seconds later, I hear a bloodcurdling scream. My music teacher, a sweet old lady with a morbid penchant for true crime documentaries and police procedurals, has come into the bathroom to find one of her students collapsed on the floor, mouth hanging open with a trickle of blood leaking out. She assumes I have been murdered. She runs back to the rest of the congregation, screaming bloody murder.

My memory of the next hour or so is a little fuzzy, but I know a lot of people were packed into that tiny restroom. It quickly became apparent that I had not, in fact, been murdered or harmed in any way. I was given something to drink, and I believe an EMT checked me over while I was semi-lucid. Once everyone calmed down, they decided I just needed to eat something and lie down. I was fine within an hour.

A couple of years later, my parents finally gave up on forcing me to attend church. I’ve only been back for weddings and funerals since then. Every single time I’ve attended one of my more religious cousins’ weddings, someone has jokingly asked if I’m going to knock out my own tooth to skip the Mass portion of the wedding.

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In And Out Of The Store In A Breeze

, , , , , , , | Right | April 30, 2020

I am checking customers out during a very busy day. A woman is in my line with her very young son.

Son: “Mommy, did you fart?”

Everyone in the line hears this but remains deathly silent, while the mother goes a shade of red but says nothing. A few unbearable moments of silence pass.

Son: “Well? Did you, Mo—”

Mother: “Shut up!”

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